Interview with Michele Gosetti, Head of Global Sales
With 15 years’ experience in the broadcast industry, Michele Gosetti brings a deep understanding of the field to his role as Head of Global Sales at Eurovision Services. He aims to use the relationships he has built up in the industry over the years, as well as his global network of contacts and his expertise in developing alternative solutions for content creation and distribution to take Eurovision Services to the next level.
What is Eurovision Services’ unique selling proposition?
We have a track record of 60 years in the industry acting as a one-stop shop for event organizers and sports federations, offering a range of services from host broadcasting to signal contribution and distribution and content personalization. Our mission is to allow event organizers and sports federations to focus on sport, athletes and putting on a great event. Setting up and managing broadcast operations can be a complex and costly business, requiring specific expertise, equipment and infrastructure. Outsourcing each part to a different supplier can be risky and demands a lot of coordination. This is how our fully integrated solution fits perfectly. We focus on content and maximizing the reach and value of the event for the federation or event organizer.
As a wholly-owned subsidiary of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) we have a privileged relationship with broadcasters, so we understand their needs and the challenges that they face. It helps us to design the services and advise the federations how they can achieve best broadcast coverage for their events.
We are also lucky to have the best talent from the worlds of media and broadcasting working for us, which gives us a significant competitive advantage.
What are the challenges of having such a broad portfolio of services?
Eurovision Services S.A. officially launched earlier this year. So we are a very young company. But we are backed by an organization with decades of experience. One of our top priorities is structuring our product portfolio. I can broadly group our products into four main categories that cover the entire spectrum of broadcast operations: production, distribution, personalization and online reach. We are recognized as an industry leader in distribution, thanks to our Eurovision Global Network, but this is just one of our many services and we are actively moving our network to IP and developing new services to help customers reach their audiences online. In each of these four categories we have different modules that customers can choose according to their needs. Since Eurovision Services is a relatively new name on the scene, we also have a lot of work to do on marketing and communications to position both the company and our products. Grouping them into these four categories has been a good starting point and we already showcased our digital ecosystem, with some of our most recent personalization and online services, at the IBC in September.
How does the creation of Eurovision Services as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the EBU help you in your role?
It makes a huge difference. As a subsidiary of the EBU, we can be more agile and react quicker to opportunities. We continue to serve EBU members, but we also have greater flexibility to offer our services to new customers. The purpose of EBU is different to that of Eurovision Services, EBU being an association of public service media, Eurovision Services a service provider operating in a very dynamic and competitive market. The split helps our staff, clients and partners to understand the different missions and what we have in common.
We have already made some organizational changes to give the company a more business-oriented approach, in the sales area I’m responsible for we have incorporated our bid management team into the global sales and marketing department to have a closer alignment, quicker response time and consequently better serve our clients.
How is the sales team organized?
I strongly believe that we have to be close to our clients, wherever they are. Eurovision Services operates offices in Washington, New York, Singapore and Beijing where our staff supports customers through the entire sales and event delivery process. We also rely on a network of partners located in different countries to get even closer to our customers and better understand these markets. We obviously also have a commercial team in Geneva, looking after central European territories and coordinating global activities.
In fact, we’ve just had our annual Global Sales meeting with coworkers coming from various parts of the world, sharing experiences and brainstorming new ideas. The diverse skill base allows us to be more open and creative and offer a broader and more adaptable range of products and services.
What do you see as the main sales driver over the next five years?
Technology and changing consumer habits have opened up new ways of distributing content. Audiences increasingly want to view content when it suits them, how it suits them and wherever they happen to be. It’s a big challenge for event organizers and federations. Eurovision Services are uniquely equipped to meet these needs with our digital ecosystem.
For example, the athletes and sponsors can use event content on their own online accounts, multiplying the exposure for an event, but they need to get access to event content, live or with a minimum delay, without any specialized broadcast equipment. This Is what our near-live clipping service does, it provides an easy-to-use web platform where customers can access content within 15 seconds of the live action, search for specific elements within the content (footage of a particular athlete, for example) and immediately start editing and personalizing a clip with pre-set branding and logos.
Another major trend worth mentioning is personalization. Audiences used to the online experience expect TV programmes to be adapted in their language, alphabet, units etc. Our remote graphics solution is a particularly cost-effective way of personalizing graphical overlays at the point of reception. As sports federations and event organizers look to maximize coverage and use all distribution channels, I think there will be increasing demand for these cost-effective personalization services.
How will Eurovision Services cope with the increasingly varied needs of stakeholders in the future?
We are increasingly switching from hardware and permanent infrastructure to lighter and more flexible, software-based solutions, integrating 3rd party services and linking customer interfaces with ours. As technology evolves so quickly, I think that it is no longer enough just to keep abreast of the latest developments. We need to be one step ahead, pre-empting and even developing the technologies and tools for the future. Earlier this year we opened Eurovision Labs in Madrid, bringing together the finest talent in the city’s renowned broadcasting cluster. Our team in Madrid is already working on the next generation of media products and services and I am excited to see what they will be and, of course, to present them to our customers.